Books can be a great escape from the stress of school, work, and other pressures of everyday life. As a college student, chances are you’ve got plenty of reading to do on a daily basis. But, when it’s time to put down the drab textbooks and actually read something that you are truly interested in, there are some books every college student must have on their reading list.
If you enjoy reading, you may already have your list of upcoming books to get through. But, if any of these works aren’t already on that list, you should seriously consider adding them.
The Top 10 Books to Read in College
1. To Kill A Mockingbird—Harper Lee
Delving deep into the subject of racism in the deep south, as told through the perspective of a young girl, this classic story is a staple for any complete reading list. There’s a good reason why this Pulitzer Prize willing novel is studied by high school students and college students majoring in English or literature, and if you haven’t yet had the chance to read this captivating story, it should be at the top of your reading list.
2. Lord Of The Flies—William Golding
The bounds of humanity and leadership are put to the test as a group of young boys find themselves stranded on an island without the structure of society or adult supervision to guide them. The controversial story demonstrates how quickly civility can deteriorate and barbarism take over when survival is at stake.
3. Charlotte's Web—E.B. White
Perspective is everything. It helps us empathize with those we may not otherwise be able to understand. As told from the perspective of the animals on a farm, Charlotte’s Web has us look at animals through their eyes, forcing us to evaluate the way we behave towards them and treat them.
4. This Side of Paradise—F. Scott Fitzgerald
After graduation, a privileged Princeton student becomes disillusioned with life and begins a journey to find himself. This novel should be at the top of every college student’s list, since these feelings of disenchantment and questioning are common for many students as they work their way through college and beyond.
5. Norwegian Wood—Haruki Murakami
Narrated in the first person, Norwegian Wood follows the life of Japanese college student, Toru Watanabe. Through a series of flashbacks, the complicated and emotionally turbulent relationships with two very different women are detailed. Filled with Beatles references far beyond the title of the book, the story reflects on alienation and the complexities of life, true love, friendship, and sexuality.
6. 1984—George Orwell
A grim look into the future, Orwell presents a world divided, filled with hatred and devoid of human values. Although the year itself has long passed, the bleak vision of the world to come still looms in the minds of all those who read it, as the possibilities of tyrannical government are presented. “The world presented in 1984 is not such a far stretch from what is possible for the future, and the speed at which things can turn in the direction Orwell presents, if we are not vigilant, is unbelievable,” says Paul Hooper, education blogger at EssayRoo and OxEssays.
7. Brave New World—Aldous Huxley
Another futuristic look at the possible world to come, Brave New World presents a thought-provoking look at happiness and individuality, as humans are genetically produced to passively serve their rulers. The warnings for the future contained within the book remain as relevant today as when they were first published.
8. One Hundred Years of Solitude—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A life of loneliness is destined for each individual in this epic story, which asks the reader to question and understand the love and importance they place on family and those closest to them. “Garcia Marquez presents us with this masterful work, forcing us to be introspective and reflect on our own lives and the value we place on those we love the most. An especially great read for those college students who may be venturing off on their own for the first time, looking to find their own self, while still learning how to stay connected to their loved ones,” explains Gail Davidson, tutor at Academized and Boom Essays.
9. The Art of Happiness—The Dalai Lama
His mere presence inspires happiness, and he seems to emanate nothing but love and joy. In a series of conversations, the Dalai Lama explains how the purpose of life is happiness, and blends over 2,500 years of Buddhist teachings and meditations with understandings from modern psychology to help guide us toward the path of happiness in all facets of life.
10. Hamlet—William Shakespeare
“To be or not to be?”—that is the question after all, isn’t it? One of the most famous plays, written by one of the most famous playwrights, the story of Hamlet helps us explore the decisions we make and the act of accepting responsibility for those decisions.
When you’re stocking your bookshelves with all the required reading for each of your college courses, be sure to add at least a few of these must-haves to the shelf. Reading should be an enjoyable journey that helps you escape the stresses of everyday life—and sometimes all a college student needs is a way to escape the stress of school life.
What is on your list of books every college student must have? What are some of your favorite reads? Let us know in the comments below!
Freddie Tubbs is a lifestyle blog writer and editor at UK Writings. He shares his knowledge and experience by contributing article to online magazines and blogs, such as Big Assignments and Australian help blogs.